The Reds selected Roa in the second round of the 2020 draft and he is rated high as the Reds’ No. 14 prospect. He debuted with the Dayton Dragons on Aug. 10. Roa pitched well for the third straight time Tuesday night to lead the Dragons to a 10-2 victory over Fort Wayne at Day Air Ballpark.
Roa (2-2) pitched five scoreless innings and allowed five hits, walked three and struck out two. He made an art of getting out of jams, leaving runners stranded at third base four times. One was after a leadoff triple and two times double plays ended the inning.
“It’s just executing pitches and getting ahead in those scenarios,” Roa said. “Eric Yang did a really good job behind the plate calling pitches and getting us out of those situations. He had a good game plan, and we attacked in those situations. And there’s some luck in it too.”
Roa has a 3.86 ERA in seven starts in Dayton, rebounding from a stretch of three subpar outings.
“At the beginning he had some problems getting that out pitch, but lately he’s been making the pitch when it counts,” Dragons manager Jose Moreno said. “He’s been able to compete and get four or five innings and doing a really good job lately.”
Roa was granted an early lead when Michael Siani led off the first inning with his sixth home run and Allan Cerda led of the second with his third home run. The Dragons added runs in the second on a single by Jacob Hurtubise and a sacrifice fly by Matt McLain for a 4-0 lead.
The Dragons added five runs in the third with the help of five walks in a stretch of six batters. With two outs, Hurtubise and Siani walked with the bases loaded and McLain ripped a three-run double into the right-field corner for a 9-0 lead.
The TinCaps (54-61) got to reliever Ricky Karcher for two runs in the ninth before Vin Timpanelli entered to get a strikeout and a fly out to end the game.
Playoff race: The Dragons (60-55) kept their faint playoff hopes alive in the race for the second and final spot with five games left. Cedar Rapids (63-52) lost Tuesday and leads the Dragons by three games. The Dragons also trail Great Lakes (62-53) and Lake County (62-53) by two games.